I thought about calling this SET your standards, but I have done that in my mind. You can set something all you want and write them on paper and store them in your head and heart BUT if you don’t LIVE your standards, they mean NOTHING!
I was raised in a Christian home and was taught * devotion (earlier blog), * honesty (like the time my brother and I borrowed money from our older brother’s piggy banks to buy little plastic toolboxes from Humbert’s Store — see I still remember that standard) * tithing (of money and time – my dad was Sunday School teacher and mother was pianist) * hard-work (we all had jobs when we were young and you never called off) * respect (you called when you were late or your dad came looking for you – learned by my error), etc… I was not just taught – it was LIVED through the lives of my parents and grandparents. Standards LIVED that now LIVE within me.
Mary said words that music to the ears last night. She basically said that we have taught her and shown her to stick with her standards and she is worth more than lowering them! One example we have always said to her in her language is don’t settle for McDonalds Nuggets when you are worth steak, a filet. We were not just referring to a food choice – but life choices – do not settle for something less than you are worth. When you are placed in tough situations, say to yourself, “I am worth more than this”. It protected her heart when it could have otherwise been vulnerable and broken. I see so many young girls not having this standard and they will “settle” for anything, because they don’t know they are worth so much more.
But do I truly and consistently LIVE my standards? I am not talking doing something by routine – that is not LIVING that is EXISTING – so do my standards LIVE or EXIST in our lives? When I started writing this I thought I was going to give examples of where I exceed, or so I thought. But I am truly convicted! If you asked do I love my husband and children – the answer would be YES! To those looking into our home, I would hope they would agree. When I look into my heart I realize, I may love them but do I LIVE the love?
Spousal honor/respect/love – I love and honor my husband, but isn’t that routine sometimes. We may end conversations with “love you” or quick kiss on the cheek (or to gross Mary out on the lips – lol!) BUT how often do I say “I LOVE YOU” and mean it from the bottom of my heart. This week, as he went and fought fires and I hear about buildings collapsing – I think, does he KNOW how much I love him! Do my words encourage him or do I take jabs at things he doesn’t do? Do I lift him up with my words or tear him down? Sometimes I don’t even realize I said something until it comes back out of our children’s mouths – OUCH!!! Do I LIVE my honor, respect, and love for him??? I watched Fireproof this week and it is an example of LIVING your LOVE! I think I need to step it up!
Children time / love / attention – I love my children, but do I LIVE IT? I know that times I let other standards (work ethics, financial standards) get in the way of that. I am in the process of reading a couple books to help me better in this area. Yes I tell my children I love them every day – but words are NOT enough, especially in the life of children! Do I stop what I am doing and give them time and attention – often NOT! How many times do I multi-task without giving 100% to them? OUCH – I need to LIVE the love, time, and attention!! It is important that they don’t just hear the words but see me LIVE my words!
Respect – I always thought I was good in this area of my life, because I was taught respect. Yesterday I put on facebook “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. When I wrote it I was NOT thinking about ME being small minded, but I realize that IS ME in a few specific situations. As a parent, you especially know you need to step up the standard when words come out of your child’s mouth with same words/attitude you have. My dad always said “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!” I need to LIVE that standard and LIVE respect for a few certain people. By not LIVING the standard of respect – I teach my children it is okay and I am missing out on potentially positive relationship.
Protection – I strongly believe that I have to LIVE my standard for protection by removing TOXIC people in my life that hinder me from LIVING my standards. How often do certain people prevent us from LIVING our standards or cause us to lower our standards! (This topic do believe is another blog because so much I can say about toxic things, people, attitudes!)
I watched the movie Courageous with Mary last night… now that is a challenge not only to LIVE your standards – but to set them HIGH! It is easy to live low / no standards, but when you step up as a Christian, a wife, a mom, a friend – it is not the standards of the world but those of Christ. Now that is how to LIVE your STANDARDS!
I found this scripture and it hit home – “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.” I Timothy 5:8
I do not believe, for me, that providing in this scripture does refer only to financially – to ME it is a call to LIVE my STANDARDS – provide my family with love, honor, respect, time, and attention.
Dear Lord, PREPARE me to truly LIVE MY STANDARDS. May my standards not just exist but be alive and seen and felt by those I love.